The European School of Strasbourg, like all European Schools, contains several language sections: in the EES’s case, French, German, and English. Pupils in the English section are native speakers of English, or, in the case of non-native speakers whose language is not represented among the school’s sections, are fluent in spoken and written English. Teachers within the section are native speakers of English. Pupils study most core courses – English, mathematics, sciences, Latin – in English. The European Schools also lay great emphasis on mastery of multiple languages. Beginning in primary school, pupils pursue intensive study of a second language (German or French), and they continue this subject in secondary school; in the second year they add an obligatory third language. Beginning in the third year of secondary school, the study of social sciences – history, geography, and optionally economics – shifts into pupils’ second languages, and mixes pupils from all language sections. Subjects such as art, gym, music, and computer science also mix pupils of all sections, and may be given in any of the three principal languages of the school.
The secondary school is divided into three cycles: the first three years, S1-S3, serve as an evaluation cycle that permits pupils to adapt to the rigours of secondary school, while progressively adding refinements and options such as the shift to the second language for social sciences, and an option for Latin beginning in S3. The second cycle, S4-S5, broadens pupils’ possibilities with additional subjects (notably a choice between elementary and standard level mathematics, an economics option, and the obligatory study of physics, biology, and chemistry). From S5 on, pupils also benefit from university and careers counseling from specialists in all sections, covering European and international higher education options. In the final cycle, S6-S7, pupils choose among numerous options in literary subjects, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts, to design a study plan that fits their interests and intended courses of university study. This cycle concludes with the examinations for the European Baccalaureate, which is recognized for university admissions in all countries of the European Union, and by international universities as well.